We’re proud to announce that echochrome ii, the PlayStation Move puzzle game available now for PS3, has been accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records for boasting a single musical track that lasts 75 minutes and 7 seconds — the longest in video game music history!
For a little background on echochrome ii, check out my past blog posts. It is a puzzle game that uses light and shadow to create a unique, innovative world for gamers to unravel. Players hold the PlayStation Move motion controller like a flashlight to control the light source in each puzzle stage, searching for hidden “shadow art” and using the shadows to create a path to the goal for their character to traverse.
“With the previous echochrome, we employed a string quartet for the soundtrack, a rare genre for video games,” said echochrome producer Tatsuya Suzuki from Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ). “The music did not change depending on the in-game situation, instead taking its own random path as it played along. We wanted to make echochrome’s music as unique and innovative as the game itself in hopes of making the play experience even more memorable for gamers. The quest to outdo ourselves for the sequel was what led us to create the world’s longest piece of game music. It’s 75 minutes long because we wanted it to take up an entire CD by itself. We were lucky to have a title with gameplay like echochrome’s to serve as the proving ground for this effort. If this was an RPG or some other genre, I imagine it would’ve been a lot tougher. It just goes to show how tight the relationship is between gameplay and game music.”
“echochrome ii features a piano in addition to the string quartet,” added Hideki Sakamoto, composer on both echochrome titles. “The sequel features ‘color’ as a new gameplay element, which doesn’t seem like anything special, but the first one was an entirely monochrome world, so it’s a major shift. Adding color to the game makes everything seem a lot brighter to your eyes and adding piano to the music helps make the game sound brighter, too. The theme of the 75 minute long track is human life – it traces the entire life of a person through 75 minutes. The lilting melodies of the intro reflect the joy of birth, and along the way you have your first love and your days of schooling. Around the age of 30, you settle down to work and your life takes on more of a basic routine. Things get a bit more contemplative by your 40s, so the song grows more serious in style. For the 50s, the track goes into a medley, reflecting on all the past experiences in your life; I think it’s the decade of life where you’re shining the most brightly. Time continues to pass, though, and as you go into your 60s and 70s, you gradually close the curtain on your life. It’s often said that people return to a child-like outlook on life in their senior years, so the end part goes back to the age of birth – in other words, back to the intro part.”
“Recording this track took just as much energy as composing it,” said echochrome ii producer Ken Suzuta from SCEJ. “It took five straight days, working from morning until night. The instrumentalists, mixers, and other staff all had to rely on each other for support as they went through this marathon recording session. For this project, Suzuki and Sakamoto both suggested broadcasting the sessions live on Ustream, giving users the opportunity to check out the studio and recording process, making it another part of the game’s entertainment. We responded to viewer comments in real-time, and when things got frustrating in the studio, viewers would send out support messages and so forth. In a way we all worked together to get the track completed. It was really great to have all those viewers, including many in America.”
“That support was key in helping us obtain the Guinness world record,” added Suzuki. “It’s a tremendous honor for us. It’s a rare thing for not just games, but any form of entertainment to get a world record, and I hope our fans are as excited about this as we are. When we have the chance to develop the next game in the echochrome series, I definitely want to try something even newer with it. Thanks again for your continued support!”
In celebration of this honor, we have a special offer available on the PlayStation Store featuring both the game and musical score for a limited time at $14.99. If you already have the game, the soundtrack can be purchased separately for $4.99. The special offer will end on June 28th. Don’t miss this great opportunity, and celebrate the honor with us all!